[Photos and text are from our family archives unless otherwise noted]
My grandmother’s grandfather, J.J. Carpenter, acquired land in Colorado in 1908 as part of President Roosevelt’s Homestead Act. He eventually built a lodge in Cebolla (near Gunnison, CO), that went by various names – Carpenter’s Fishing Lodge, Sportsman Hotel, and Sportsman’s Lodge. My mother grew up near there, my grandmother and her sister played there, and my grandmother and her husband worked there for a short time in the 1920’s.
It has long held fascination for me, not only because the Carpenters were ‘big fish in a little pond’ in Gunnison, but also because of a family story that claims that the Carpenter boys took guests out on hunting parties, and that one of those parties included Buffalo Bill Cody.
And, there was a bear, whom guests would feed with beer. Published stories list the bear’s name as Maude, though the third photo in this series has a note on the back of “Nellie Bear”. Needless to say, I have a lot of stories to track down…